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English Merchant Shipping, Trade, and Maritime Communities
Isaac Sailmaker (1653-1721) 'The Island of Barbados',
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Database and Voyage Mapping

Welcome to our database of shipping and maritime communities. As our project progresses we will be collecting data on thousands of ship voyages into and out of English ports, and gathering the names of seafarers and merchants that worked in English seaborne trade. The new database will be fully launched in year three of the project (2025).

If you would like to search the database from our previous project, The Merchant Fleet of Late Medieval and Tudor England, 1400-1580, you can find it here: Medieval and Tudor Ships of England

Database Structure

Our geospatial relational database will eventually comprise approximately several hundred thousand records, linked to a web-mapping application that allows spatial analysis of the dataset, which we will make publicly available through our interactive project website. It will support detailed analysis (statistical, spatial and temporal) of the structure of the records. Information contained in it will be linked through three key pieces of information provided by the sources: (1) ship voyages, including departure and destination details, allowing us to map the direction and volume of trading voyages; (2) the names of seafarers, including details of residence/home port, age, and other information garnered from trade, taxation, musters, admiralty and probate records; (3) the types of commodities imported and exported, which will be linked to the ship-voyage data. Over the course of the project, we will provide more information on how to use the database.